Julia C. (Aberizk) Abdulla, 92, of Newburyport passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, January 7, 2018. She was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Frederick Abdulla, who passed in 2013.
Born in Lawrence on February 21, 1925, Julia was the eldest child of the late Jaberan and Celia (Haddad) Aberizk. She was predeceased by her brothers and sisters-in-law, William and Julie Aberizk, Emil and Shirley Aberizk, and Phillip and Martha Aberizk and her brother-in-law, Alan Brown.
Julia is survived by her daughter, Dianne Kalil of Salisbury; her two sons, Frederick Abdulla and his wife, Donna of Salisbury, and Daniel Abdulla and his partner, Mark Moquin of Newburyport; her sister, Lorice Brown of Salem, NH; her two brothers, Raymond Aberizk of Methuen and David and Debra of San Diego, CA; and her sisters-in-law, Louise Abdulla of Lawrence and Georgette Abdulla of Methuen. Julia will be sadly missed by her six grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Julia was educated in Lawrence public schools and graduated from Lawrence High School. During school, she worked at Ganem’s Market and then worked full-time at Malden Mills starting in 1943. Julia continued her education part time by studying in Boston to become a licensed electrologist. Upon completion, Julia opened a practice in Exeter, NH before moving the practice to her home after starting a family.
Julia met her future husband, Fred, in 1947. They were married in 1949, a week after her 24th birthday. She soon joined Fred at his family’s business, Joe’s Playland at Salisbury Beach. They made their home in Salisbury and together operated the ice cream stand where they made homemade ice cream, candy, and their famous chocolate moons. A few years later, they took over the entire business, including the arcade. Along with her husband, Julia became a perennial fixture at Joe’s Playland for more than 60 years where she was affectionately known as “Mrs. A” to generations of employees and customers. Even at 92, Julia was still at work making change, counting tickets, and handing out prizes.
Julia learned sewing and needlework as a youth out of necessity. But these skills gave her many creative talents, especially for the Japanese embroidery known as Bunka. Julia created well over 100 Bunka scenes during her life, giving away nearly all of the artworks to family and friends. Her responsibilities as a child also led to her lifelong passion for cooking. Julia not only mastered countless Arabic dishes, she did it effortlessly and from memory. Julia often prepared food for the employees at Joe’s Playland, where “Mrs. A’s” cooking became an unofficial company perk.
Julia touched many people throughout her nearly 93 years and was known for her “honest opinion” and her wit. But nothing compared to the love and devotion she had for her family, including her extended Joe’s Playland family. She lived her life as she counseled others, “Listen and learn, then do what you think is right.”
The family is eternally grateful to the many extended family members, friends and acquaintances that reached out to Julia, provided her with companionship, or simply offered their prayers and kind words of support. They are especially thankful to the many wonderful women who cared for Julia so lovingly and attentively during the last five years.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 from 4:00-8:00 PM at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen. Her funeral mass will be at 10:30 AM on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at St. Anthony Maronite Church, 145 Amesbury St., Lawrence. Burial will be in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Methuen.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Julia’s memory to The Pettengill House, 13 Lafayette Road, Salisbury, MA 01952.